A funny thing happened on the way to work today. . .

“I think that since we have to renew our driver’s license every five years, we should have to renew our marriage license every five years”, or something equally clever came from a man at the counter.

Engaged in the very serious act of vehicle licensing changes and drivers’ license transfers from BC to NS, my beloved and I looked at each other, giggling.

He was a little older, and his voice resonated from one end of the counter to the other. The more we stood and stared at each other the larger our grins grew. Wouldn’t that be something? It’s like renewing your vows, in a bureaucratic sort of way. There could even be a small fee, and if you never divorced you could get a refund after 50 years.

Imagine, every five years you would seriously and intentionally have to go to a government agency to say “yes”, we are still in a committed relationship. It may give rise to conversation around “are we?”, “do we”, “will we?”, and various other questions that may pop up as each couple very publicly reconfirm their marriage is still valid and valued. I imagine some couples would find it difficult to find time to go together during business hours to invest in the process of saying “yes, we are renewing our marriage”.

Well, we renew other things, so why not marriages? Everything else seems to require continued validation: driver’s licenses, wills, insurances, registry for guns, alumni status, memberships to service clubs, professional member organizations, book clubs, fan clubs, fitness clubs and even non-profit societies which collect membership fees (annual or otherwise). Whew!

Even with the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation we annually measure the commitment of our donors by asking “will you partner with us this year by providing volunteer time and/or a donation?” It is a marriage of sorts, a process of giving and receiving in a mutually beneficial way. We feel connected, part of something larger; we feel a sense of belonging. Shouldn’t marriages continue to be that synergistic and mutually beneficial – providing us with a sense of belonging? Ah yes, but I doubt a five year marriage register will make it so.

A new face in the Foundation Office. . .

“A move to the East Coast from BC had been in our plans for a long time”.  While the move was motivated by grown children and grandchildren who reside in Avonport, Deborah feels fortunate to work with supporters of Valley Regional Hospital Foundation. “Being here with such a strong volunteer leadership team and great community support is a definite bonus.”

Deborah was born and raised on Vancouver Island; a sixth generation Islander. After growing up on the Oyster River, north of Courtenay, Deborah attended Simon Fraser University where she completed a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Communication, and a Minor in Kinesiology. Deborah supplemented her studies in later years with a Masters’ Degree in Philanthropy and Development (not-for-profit management and fundraising).

 “The greatest attraction to the non-profit sector is the impact on people’s lives, mine included. It is astounding how you start in this field believing you can make a positive difference in the world, and as you further your career you come to realise the positive difference is within you, as well as outside you. It is not possible to remain unchanged when someone looks into your eyes and says ‘because of the work you did, I am living and loving every day – you saved my life’”.

Deborah has enjoyed working in the non-profit sector, beginning with communications and programming positions, and ultimately serving as Executive Director and Director of Development in the environmental, health, and educational sectors. In addition to her non-profit experience, she has worked in municipal and provincial governments; in the finance sector; and has managed her own locally-sourced, organic, multi-cultural restaurant.

 While she no longer has a restaurant, Deborah loves to create unique and delicious meals with her husband Daryl, their five grown children and four grandchildren. Outdoor pursuits such as kayaking, gardening and hiking are favorite activities she continues to share with friends and family.